Contrary to its mandate of rebuilding critical infrastructure in the North-East, massive corruption has allegedly taken over the North-East Development Commission, NEDC.
NEDC was among other objectives, established to rebuild the infrastructure and institutions destroyed by Boko Haram in the North-East.
However, instead of sticking with its mandate, the Managing Director of the commission, Mohammed Goni Alkali has been embroiled in a multi-billion naira corruption scandal.
A group, North-East Vanguard, claimed to have unearthed massive corruption involving billions of naira at the commission.
Besides allegedly embezzling billions of naira, the group further accused Alkali of running the commission with nepotism.
In a document jointly signed by the group’s National Coordinator and National Secretary, Pwasato Aaron, and Goni Umar Muazu respectively, the group called on anti-graft agencies to beam its searchlight on NEDC.
The document seen by Newzandar News reads in part, “The Managing Director, Mohammed Goni Alkali, takes home as monthly salary, N8.5 million without recourse to the Salaries and Wages Commission.
“This is apart from a whopping N300 million as running cost for his office per annum. How justifiable is that?
“Since its establishment, no single employment has been carried out, as Mohammed Goni Alkali, singlehandedly hand-picked from the ministries, people from his own tribe of Kanuri (90% of the about 60 staff members of the commission are Kanuri).
“Purchase by the Managing Director of 100 Hilux pick-up vans for the military and other security personnel at the cost of N28 million each, against the market value of N17 million in 2020, without any recourse to the board, an act which completely negates the country’s procurement laws.
“The Managing Director singlehandedly procured all Covid-19 equipment to the tune of N5 billion without approval from the board and procurement procedures.
“Five billion naira that was approved and released as special funds for Ngwom Housing Estate is missing in transit between the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the office of the Managing Director of the commission.”
Other infractions allegedly committed by Alkali were said to involve the diversion of funds meant for the purchase of houses for staff members.
Other monies alleged to have been squandered involved the construction of corporate headquarters in Maiduguri, as well as mass housing across the six North-East states.
It added, “Funds meant for the production of the master plan of the region are being stolen through bogus contracts using pseudo names.
“Funds appropriated two years ago to establish 18 additional computer training centres have been misappropriated by the Alkali management.
“Funds meant for the construction of offices in the six states of the region have been diverted to other personal uses.
“Funds meant for the construction of ‘Mega Schools’ in the 18 senatorial zones of the region have disappeared.
“Tractors and other agricultural equipment, approved and fully funded, have yet to be purchased, two years after, while billions of naira are being spent on fraudulent food procurement at the expense of farmers of the region.
“Billions of naira spent on the defunct PCNI liabilities should be thoroughly investigated as some of the claims cannot be validated.
“The board of the North-East Development Commission Education Endowment Fund-NEDCEF was inaugurated on August 7, 2020, as an educational component of the commission, but for close to one year now, the board has not been able to take off, let alone achieve its core mandate of interventions in the education sub-sector, because of meddlesomeness and needless frustrations by the Managing Director.
“Instead, funds earmarked for interventions by NEDCEF are being diverted for personal use by members of the Board Of Trustees.
“It is no surprise that during the recent presidential visit to Borno state by President Muhammadu Buhari, no single NEDC project was commissioned.”
North-East Vanguard is worried that the National Assembly has abruptly abandoned its probe of the NEDC which it launched on July 23, 2020.
As gathered, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, has picked some directors of the commission for questioning.
Furthermore, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has also beamed its searchlight on allegations of financial misappropriation in the commission.
North-East Vanguard, therefore, urges President Muhammadu Buhari to officially suspend Alkali, to allow free investigation into the issues raised.
Newzandar News – News